Wed, 20 Jan 2021

Chalk Talk: How much does Nagy emphasize Packers rivalry

Chicago Bears
30 Nov 2020, 00:37 GMT+10

Larry Mayer

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

How much does coach Matt Nagy convey to his players about the importance of the Bears-Packers rivalry? I assume that some Bears players who are new to the team don't know a whole lot about the history.

Alan E.

Elmhurst, Illinois

Coach Matt Nagy certainly educates his players about the significance of the Bears-Packers rivalry and the importance of those games to the franchise and the fans. Conversely, he also has to make them understand that the two yearly meetings with Green Bay aren't the only two contests on the schedule. Said Nagy: "All games matter, but when you're going through this type of rivalry that's, throughout history, so significant and so real, it's important that we all understand the magnitude of it. So, we talk about it. We make sure they understand that. But at the same time, too, I do feel like you want to make sure that you don't just put so much emphasis into it to where guys stress or they play a little different because of it. There's a balance there, and I want to make sure we also understand that part, too. But it's real, and this is a big game for us."

With offensive coordinator Bill Lazor calling plays with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback for the first time Sunday night in Green Bay, do you think we'll see Trubisky utilized differently in the Bears offense?

Evan B.

Maple Grove, Minnesota

There may be some slight variations in the sequence of play calls, but the same coaches are collaborating on the game plan as before, so I don't expect any major changes with how Mitchell Trubisky is used on offense. Said coach Matt Nagy: "I would say it would probably be pretty similar just because of where we're at conceptually, and the things that we want to do. But at the same point in time, there can be a rhythm as to when you're feeling a certain run, when you're feeling a certain play action, a screen, a movement outside the pocket, a shot. That kind of thing. That's probably the biggest thing, and maybe when you're in the red zone and how your choices are there."

I'm a little concerned about the injury to Charles Leno Jr. and seeing that he will be a game-time decision Sunday night in Green Bay. I was wondering if his likely replacement, Jason Spriggs, has ever played left tackle?

Nick P.

Ogden, Utah

Yes, Jason Spriggs was a four-year starting left tackle at Indiana. As a senior in 2015, he was named a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association and chosen as an Outland Trophy semifinalist. Selected in the second round of the 2016 draft by the Packers, Spriggs started two games at right guard as a rookie and seven contests at right tackle in 2017-18. But he also filled in at left tackle in a 2016 game in Tennessee after starter David Bakhtiari exited in the third quarter with a knee injury. Here's what coach Matt Nagy said about Spriggs this week: "I think he's more comfortable on the left side. If Leno can't go and 'Spriggsy' is in there, here's a guy who you can see his fundamentals, his technique and what he's learned through [offensive line coach] Juan [Castillo], and I have ultimate trust in him and I know he will go out and play well."

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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